[STAGE] Soul Calibur 3, WATER MILL VALLEY, d1ver

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d1ver polycounter lvl 9
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Pres_1.jpg





Hey what's up, guys. Sorry, I'm kinda late to the party.) I've be thinking about the scene from the tournament announcement but had to do some tests and a presentable picture in order to start a thread. But nevertheless, here I am :)

Sooooooo,
I'll be doing a scene from SC 3, me and my bud used to hang out at my place every Saturday after the C++ class played the living crap out of it.) so yeah, nice to do reimagine something familiar. Here's the concept of the original location:

400px-Water_Mill_Valley.jpg

It doesn't really show the arena layout, but what the hell. So how am I going to reimagine it? Well at first I was going for the arrogant "make it prettier", but browsing through stuff for ideas I remembered about this movie:
hero2002.jpg
and was immediately sold.

So I'll be trying to reimagine the thing as it could be done by Zhang Yimou. Which means, asian architecture,
hero2.jpg
strong colors,
hero.jpg
and hopfully a bunch of particles in the air:)
hero.jpg

I've got the whole things pretty much blocked out and the first concept is coming soon.)

cheers!

Replies

  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Okay so here's the first concept(fullsize please):

    Concept_Angle_1.jpg

    A lot of stuff going on. It's going to be a challenge to squeeze into the specs, but judging by the blockout so far, it is possible.
    My main concern is meeting the deadline, but that's why I'm planning to work incrementally, building up visual value in a way that I could pass it as a complete piece even with a couple of things still unfinished.

    The rough plan for now is:
    2nd shot concept
    terrain in engine/terrain materials,
    skydome,
    background buildings,
    the arena itself,
    water wheels,
    water effects,
    ship mills,
    misc effects(cloth, rainbows, birds, smoke etc.)

    Anyway, I hope you like what you see. Comments and crits are much appreciated!

    Nighty-night.
  • MasteroftheFork
    That is sexy! I look forward to seeing your progress.
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
  • Makkon
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    Makkon polycounter lvl 12
    Whoa.


    Just......



    Whoa.

    That billowing cloth is awesome!
  • S2Engine
    ^What he said. Great concept, totally looking forward to seeing this unfold!
  • stfu_donny
    Great ref. keep truckin'
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Thank you so much,Makkon! Yeah I like that cloth too:)
    I'll try UDK cloth simulation, but I'm not sure if my old pc can handle it so I might just as well simulate it in Max, anyway should be interesting to make.

    Thanks you very much, Madison! I'm looking forward to it too, though it is pretty intimidating:)

    Thanks,stfu_donny, I sure will!
  • Maph
    Gorgeous idea man! The cloth is particulary awesome. :)
    Can't wait to see the blockout of this!
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Hey ya there, Maph. Thank you very much for the kind words!:)

    Believe it or not, but this is the blockout. Everything you see here(except for the cloth and effects) is already modeled. It's just been given a proper texture and lighting pass in photoshop. If you look closer you can actually see tiling pattern from placeholder textures on background islands.:)

    cheers! thanks again.
  • vahl
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    vahl polycounter lvl 12
    this concept/blockout is dope, sir :)
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    thank you very much, vahl!
    it's your portfolio that's dope, sir.:)
  • Dani
    Saw your link to your brawl page in your reply to mine:) , hella impressive concept man, only thing I'm having trouble reading is the scale of the top platform since the fence like thing on the right mixes up with the litle details on the platform itself, at first I tought it was huge but now I noticed the stone floor and the fence I'm not sure.

    Again, awesome concept can't wait to see what you come up with:)
  • NoChance
    One thing to consider which I forgot about also when I started concepting for my idea is that you only get two beauty shots and one has to be from the screen persepctive of a 2d fighter. A level this huge might not get shown off that well in this contest.

    I love the concept but I just thought I might save you some pain I started imagining this grandiose level also then read through the restrictions and realized it would be a waste under these parameters.
  • seforin
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    seforin polycounter lvl 10
    your work always surprises me when I see it...crank this sucker out I wanna see the 3d!
  • Matroskin
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    Matroskin polycounter lvl 9
    wow, big scope here ;)

    Looking forward to see a 3d going on!
    The idea definitely feels very cool for the fighting arena. But u will need to consider the in-game angle with camera on human height, so bunch of buildings and other stuff below the level of arena might not be seen. I guess u will re-consider the composition in 3d tho.
    Awesome start anyways ;)
  • Mert
    liking the colours and the scope!
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Hey there, guys! thank you all for all your comments and I'll get back to each and every one of you individually a tiny bit later but now I'm just going to post and go to sleeeeeeeeeeep. zzZZZzzz


    an interesting point I've discovered is that it's much harder to paint landscapes when
    a) you don't have the sun in the frame(mine is in the opposite direction)
    b) you horizon is obstructed
    totally f-s up how I'd go about aerial perspective. :poly005:
    not too happy right now, but gotta keep it conceptish. I hope I'll be able to make some fixes as I go.

    Concept_Angle_2.jpg

    now please pour on me all the vicious rhetoric you might have :)

    and I'm going to get some sleepy.) cheers
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
  • S2Engine
    I love it, honestly this camera angle feels more comfortable to me. It definitely reads here as a fighting stage, although maybe a little more pulled-back than is typical for that type of game. Still works for me though. I like that there are a lot of structures which should be pretty easy to instance about, should make for smooth work pace.

    I feel like there might be too much yellow-ish going on, between the rooftops and the hues of the grass hills. It could just be me, since I've never been partial to yellow, but maybe tuning the grass to a cooler tone would help to contrast. Waterfalls are looking nice in that respect :)
  • Gannon
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    Gannon polycounter lvl 8
    You're runnin out of time!!!! GO GO GO!
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Thank you, Madison. I wish I could say I love it, but it merely feels "ok" for now. At least I got the angle right this time :) heh
    S2Engine wrote: »
    I feel like there might be too much yellow-ish going on

    Yeah, so do I. In fact I think the colors, 'scuse me french, suck big fat huge major ass. So that's why I thought I'd do another take:

    Concept_Angle_2_2.jpg

    I could really use some opinions and advices right now, cause the ones I've got so far were pretty confusing and controversial. Which one do you, fellas, like more and why? Something bothering you? I'd appreciate if you'd tear me apart please.

    Gannon, roger that, buddy! Starting in UDK tomorrow.
  • Mark Dygert
    I really like the composition. The colors are kind of garish but that might be just the illustration at this point. You might need more horizontal space for the fighting arena? Most stages extend fully to the bounds of the image and often look like they could keep going.

    What about adding some terraced farming ledges and path ways to the village in the background?
  • Gannon
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    Gannon polycounter lvl 8
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Hey there! Long time no post. I've got a bit distracted with an annoying hardware issue last weekend and ehm.... a f-ing terorist attack on monday! 13 people dead 160 injured. Luckily no one I know got hurt. And unsurprisingly I don't know a single person who doesn't believe that the explosion was set up by the govеrnment itself to justify the repressiоns that are rolling through the ranks of оpposition and distract people from a major cost of living rise and shortage of imported goods. In a small country with absolutely no enemies, territorial disputes or natural resources there's just no point for anyone else to blоw people up
    Btw, me writing this is illegal too. It was officially stated that anyone spreading this disgraceful notions should be arrested and interrogated on the subject of their connections with terrorists.) but that's nothing new in a country where you get a 2 year jail sentence for insulting the dignity and honor of the "prеsident", so ftw.
    Damn, do I hate this poor excuse of a country I was born in.:( Just in case you're curious feel free to read my older write up

    But don't let me sidetrack you too much. I'm sorry about that. In spite of all things happening I've managed to do some work this week. Mostly material test, not so much in the way of final compositions though.
    Here goes:

    Wip2_1.jpg

    I love making materials in UDK, it's like middle ground between programming and art.) This water here took a while and it's very parametrized. There are 3 levels of waves(small, middle, large) with adjustable scale and intensity. Toggleable flow speed and direction. Fast river or a still lake - it's your call. Adjustable diffuse color and amount of reflection blend in. Vertex painted foam that also procedurally appears along big waves and at intersections with objects. Adjustable opacity falloff along the shoreline and some more stuff that I don't remember right now.) And yeah even though, for the sake of convenience, it's done with 3 different textures now, if needed this could easily be done with only one.

    Rock_Wip1.jpg

    I also did rock and grass materials and a bunch of stones in various arrangements, but didn't populate them much yet, since the layout is no way final. The grass supposed to be more background oriented while the rocks will be up close.

    Wip1_2.jpg

    Buildings are just diffuse for now so don't be to harsh on me. I'll get to them pretty soon. You can also see the brick mat a bit. It's a blend betwwen brick, moss and old decaying bricks.

    Once again a lot of stuff is very-very wip.

    For the final composition I'll be expanding a bit on the last concept. I'm half way there with the terrain sculpt and after it's done I'll be just left with water effects, water wheels and the "dancefloor" itself. I'll do my best to make it on time.

    Hey thanks for your advices, Vig! Yeah the colors were poop. I'm a pretty lame concept artist so I'll try to get it right in-engine.
    I'll also rework composition a bit to make the stage take up more space! And those terraced fields will hopefully end up in the final terrain sculpt. Thank again!)

    Gannon, yeah, sry, won't happen again.)
    grppic_2104324_PatrickStarFanclub.gif
  • S2Engine
    Wow, rough week, sorry to hear that. Pretty ridiculous stuff, I hadn't read that old thread before. Glad you're doing okay though, and still able to make progress.

    The water material sounds pretty crazy, I'd love to see a video of that. Can't even imagine what the network is looking like for that shader. I kinda like the buildings personally, good choice of colors, quite a bit more focused than the concept. No real crits from me, looking forward to seeing the composition!
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Heya, Madison! Thanks for staying with me here. I'd love to do a video if my pc can support a decent fps. On the other hand if there will be demand I'm more than willing to just share my shaders in their entirety or something like that.


    I'm making a little progress:
    Wip3_1.jpg

    I hope I get another pass at it but there are other more urgent things right now.

    I've done some UDK cloth simulation and it seems to be working more or less.) But I really feel like a twit just sitting there waiting to capture the cloth in the right position:). So I might as well do a max simulation and sculpt it properly. not sure now. I'm trying to skip the things that might work as they are. Right now my main focus is finishing the second part of the terrain, which is very close. Then the water effects and then depends what I'll have time for.

    Any feedback is very much appreciated. And I'm getting a slight confusion with my 2 monitors here so I would especially like to hear if you think is picture is too dark or bright.

    Anyway, so much to do so little time. So thanks for your attention and have a nice day!

    Cheers!
  • Matroskin
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    Matroskin polycounter lvl 9
    ah, been a while haven't check this out :)
    Good to see it shaping up in 3d.

    Yeah, the water doesn't fit yet, well I saw u mentioned u plan to work on it.
    With this angle it is also hard to judge the scene since its quite far and probably not how it will be presented "in game". Maybe the next screens will have a more in-game camera to check it out ;)

    The cloth looks cool btw ;)
  • S2Engine
    Yeah I think the picture brightness is fine. The cloth looks awesome, but I guess it would have to be displayed in motion or else it feels a little strange to be so upward in a still.

    I think the problem with the water is the color - it's almost a purple, and I think it's just too saturated. Maybe try getting it more in the blues and see if toning down saturation works out.
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Heya, Vlad! How 've you been, buddy?) I missed ya:)
    Thanks for the feedback, man.

    What exactly about the water that's putting you off?

    I've got a bunch pics with a proper point of view this time so you'll just have to tear me apart with your vicious rhetoric this time.)

    and yeah, billowing cloths tend to be surprisingly naturally beautiful.

    Hey, Madison, by "in motion" did you mean some motion blur? Because I've got some this time. And, well, ingame it's still in motion. And I'm still sitting here trying to capture it in the perfect position(and with my ~8 fps it's f-ing annoying rrar) :)

    And yeah, thanks for that color pointer. The water was reflecting the sky a tad too much, but I hope I fixed that.


    Another week gone one more to go. I did some stuff this week.
    Had some fun with particles, especially with the drops that create a splash and little waves upon collision with stuff, the birds were also fun to do.Too bad Unreal particles are so fps dependent. At a higher resolution I can hardly see any collision effects at all.:(

    So, I guess I should just put up those pics already:

    Wip_4_3.jpg
    Wip_4_6.jpg
    Wip_4_5.jpg
    Wip_4_1.jpg

    c&c are very welcome. In fact now the best time to give me all you've got and would Grrrreatly appreciate it since the time is almost out.
    And I'm always open to any feedback upon brightness contrast and colors, 'cause both my monitors display stuff so very differently and I'm too lazy to calibrate them. :P

    Thank you all for your attention. I hope you like what you seen and, hopefully, I can get some proper sleep now.

    Hugs n' Kisses XD
  • ayoub44
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    ayoub44 polycounter lvl 6
    wow , cool details .. any chance to see a video for that water moving :D ? your scene is soo amazing . are you creating your details and normal map with material editor on UDK or all done at photoshop ?

    i wish you a good luck :) keep it up
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Thank you very much, buddy!

    The chances are little, since I get very low fps on this one with my old rig, but I just might find some friends with a powerful machine and do it from there, so who knows:)
    I really like it in motion with the wheel turning, you know, all the splatter, fog rising, drops falling, birds flying and the river flowing so it would be nice to share this :)

    As for the details, I usually do a bunch of different passes for different objects in mudbox, max or photoshop. And then I tend to always add a tileable detail normal map in the udk material.

    thank again, I'll do my best!
  • Mert
    that is starting to shape up nicely! I'm diggin the oriental details they add so much character to it.

    keep up the good work.
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Hey, huge thanks, dude!:) Yeah, I guess I dig them too.
    I'll have to try really hard to make this scene a whole lot better this last week.
  • S2Engine
    Really awesome stuff, it's come along quite a bit! Yeah the water looks much better now, as does the cloth. I meant in motion like in a video :poly124: but I understand if it's just not possible with the hardware. The blur helps sell it a lot more though. No real crits from me, just wanted to say I dig it. Makes me wish I had time to work on mine more as well :poly127:
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Thank you very much, Madison! I'm glad you dig.
    The fun thing about the cloth blur is that it's unintentional, actually.) I just blur the background and since the cloth is transparent it blurs too.:)

    Yeah, time's the one thing always lacking, but just so you know, I also wish you had more time to work on your entry. Looking forward to your updates!
  • Pedro Amorim
    Very nice d1ver! Looking great :)
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Thank you very much, Perdo! Always a pleasure to get a line from you.
    I'm glad you like:)

    Maybe some crits? ;-)
  • paulsvoboda
    Really nice stuff! I'd love to see this all in motion, looks like it could be a really dynamic scene with the flags blowing, water, lanterns swaying, etc.
  • Matroskin
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    Matroskin polycounter lvl 9
    oh yes, new views r better angle ;)
    Especially i like the 1st one.

    Well, what i mean regarding the water is that to me it felt like its color and "reflection" did not fit the rest.
    I didn't read other comments honestly, so sry if ill repeat someone :P
    But u want the water color to match with the surrounding. Often its color will be like the sky, but a bit more "dense" or "solid" feeling. Its because water is heavier than the sky, so there will not be a "perfect" reflection, at least in a case of a sea or ocean. Also seeing a shore being at least roughly seen as "reflection" would help the credibility ;)
  • Matroskin
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    Matroskin polycounter lvl 9
    btw, the background mountains i think are screaming "i am a bold heightmap geometry" ;) Adding some billboard vegetation and especially isolated structures will add a lot of interest.
    U know, like a temple or few towers here and there...
    I suggest that u look through some pictures of China temples - u'll get great ref and inspiration not only for individual architecture details but also for the whole natural landscape ;)
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Thanks a lot, Paul! I'll try to find a way to do a video once it's all done. And yeah, it's fairly dynamic. Sometimes I just sit and stare at stuff moving for a while:)

    Thank you very much, Vlad! I'm glad you like it.
    Yeah, I'm working with that terrain as I'm writing this. I've seen a whole ton of those China temples during preproduction and now I guess is the best time to browse through them again.:)
    Thanks again, buddy!
  • Maph
    Gorgeous stuff man! I'd personally tone down the normal map on those Torii, it's a tad distracting imho.
    And yeah, 'nother vote for a vid!
  • Mark Dygert
    This is looking great d1ver! I really like the lantern/pillars those are awesome.

    I had a little trouble understanding the cloth in this shot I didn't see it connected to the pillar (because of the building) so I couldn't figure out what it was. It's better defined in the other shots because its grounded but you might want to turn down the opacity a bit?
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Thank you very much, Muphster:) I see you already fancy a brand new monkey king avatar - cool stuff!
    And yeah that torii normal map was a bit outaline, hope I fixed it up a bit.

    Thank you very much, Vig! I really appreciate all the kind words.
    And thanks for the pointer,I hope now it's more obvious where the cloth is coming from:)

    Sooooooooo *drumroll*,
    more or less final shots!

    Pres_1.jpg
    Pres_2.jpg
    Pres_3.jpg
    Pres_4.jpg
    d1v_Brawl_ConstructionShot.jpg
    d1v_Brawl_TextureSheet.jpg

    though I'm still very much open for any kinds of crits! if it's something big I'll just have to correct it later, before putting it in my portfolio.

    This contest is great. So much amazing art, so many amazing artists - I'm in love with every single one of them:)

    There's was a point while working at this when I kinda kicked back and said to myself "hey, dude, you've grown". And since then I stopped thinking about placing and stuff, 'cause I felt like I've already won and my knowledge and a new portfolio piece were my prizes. So I don't really expect to be voted for and am fine with that, but still want to say that it's a great honor and joy to be in the same line with all the amazing polybros and sises. I really look forward to the submissions thread opening, because I'm sure that there are tons of amazing stuff that I've missed.

    At first I wanted to write a whole paragraph about I hope this gets me a job and how I deseprately need one, but now it really doesn't seem all that important. What's important is this:
    Thank you Polycount for being so awesome, thank you for reading this, I appreciate all the attention and support and I hope you enjoy my stage as much as I enjoyed doing it!

    cheers!
  • S2Engine
    Love the sword! Really adds some much-needed foreground element to it, as simple as it is. This turned out pretty awesome, gotta say. That's one of the sexiest wireframes I've seen in awhile. Only crit, and it's very minor, is I'm not sure about the color of the sword's cloth and also the small blue/cyan-ish banners. They seem to be just outside of the palette of the rest of the scene to me. Altogether though, great job!
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Thank you very much, Madison. I'm glad you like it. Yeah, something for the foreground was really necessary. good thing this idea came around :)
    The wires must be "sexy" cause of the naughty red, but it's actually just the UDK wires shot inverted and set to multiply:)

    I see with the colors. What kind of colors would you propose?
  • Mert
    Congrats dude it's come out looking great.
    I agree the sword is a nice touch.
  • crazyfingers
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    crazyfingers polycounter lvl 7
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Thank you very much, fellas! I appreciate your support so very much.
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Hey guys, I made a couple of pics for my website, thought I'd post them up here as well.

    Some tileable sculpts I based my textures on:

    Sculpts.jpg


    Every mat had some sort of vertex painted shenanigans. Bronze had some rust on it, bricks had decay and moss, torri had some moss on it as well, terrain had a bunch of rocks and some grass(with optional fresnel), and building had roof tiles color and glowing windows controlled through vertex channels.
    Here's sort of a base shader network:
    BaseShaderNetwork.gif
    This particular one is for wood btw. As you can see from the texture sheet the wood texture is pretty bland but a mixmap and a cubemap can make it look a lot more lively. There are no decals in the scene so all the variety is achieved through vertex blending.
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